KU rally stopped in 9th

Oklahoma State’s Davis Duren, right, beats the throw to first baseman Zac Elgie, left, in the first inning. The Cowboys beat the Jayhawks, 3-1, on Friday at Hoglund Ballpark.

Kansas University’s baseball team began its Big 12 Conference season with a 3-1 setback against Oklahoma State on Friday at Hoglund Ballpark, in front of 945 fans.

The Cowboys won their eighth straight game and improved to 14-3. The Jayhawks fell to 7-10.

Sophomore Jake Marasco led the KU offense, going 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to eight games.

OSU sealed the victory when third baseman Mark Ginther blasted a two-run double in the top of the fourth inning.

Despite trailing most of the day, Kansas had an opportunity to come back in the final inning. Marasco led off the ninth with a single to right, then designated hitter James Stanfield was hit by a pitch.

However, OSU closer Chris Marlowe entered the game and struck out Brandon Macias, Zac Elgie and Chris Manship in succession. Marlowe registered his third save. Brad Propst (3-1) earned the victory for OSU.

KU’s offense recorded six hits.

“We just have to keep grinding,” KU coach Ritch Price said. “We had opportunities to score, and we couldn’t get that clutch hit. It’s kind of contagious. When you can get that first one, you have a chance to get that second or third one. We have to stay positive and hope our guys keep getting better.”

Kansas senior T.J. Walz (2-3) pitched seven innings. He held the second-leading offense in the Big 12 to seven hits and three earned runs. Walz struck out six in his fourth straight quality start.

“I think he did a really nice job of locating his pitches (later in game),” Price said of Walz. “He used both sides of the plate and was down in the zone. He mixed in his breaking ball and his changeup.”

The Jayhawks scored their only run in the fourth on a leadoff double by Zac Elgie, who came around to score on an RBI ground out by Kaiana Eldredge.

KU and OSU will play again at 1 p.m. today at Hoglund Ballpark.